Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, touted the success of the Start-up Visa Program today (May 29, 2015) with the announcement of more successful applicants who have been approved for permanent residence in recent months.

The Start-up Visa Program is helping to spur entrepreneurialism and create economic growth across the country and in a variety of industries. Successful applicants and their companies will be based in Toronto, Halifax, Thunder Bay, Vancouver and Victoria.

Since the launch of the program, 16 principal applicants have been approved for permanent residency, helping launch and grow eight companies. There are currently nearly 60 applications at various stages of the process. (Note: Innovacorp welcomed Eric P. Hoffman to Nova Scotia through the program. Originally from the United States, Mr. Hoffman is a human genetics and drug development researcher and a co-founder of AGADA Biosciences, a resident client at the Innovacorp Enterprise Centre in Halifax.)

Alexander met some of Canada's newest entrepreneurs today at an event hosted by the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), the business incubator working with two of the start-ups that have benefitted from the program.

The new permanent residents (PR) supported by TBDC include Nick Back, who is originally from the United Kingdom and has launched Physicool Canada with Canadian business partner Dr. Joe Chiodo, as well as Shankar Raventhiran, Anand Suriyanarayana Raja and Jaishankar Rajagopal, all originally from India, who are launching Green Anthem Foods.

Quick facts

  • Foreign entrepreneurs can apply for permanent residence only after they have secured a commitment from a designated organization.
  • More than 50 Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators are now designated organizations in the Start-up Visa Program.


  • “Every successful start-up visa applicant is a home run for Canada and I am proud to welcome today's newest beneficiaries of the program; they've demonstrated creativity and hard work. When entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground here, jobs and economic growth follow. ” - Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
  • “With the Start-up Visa Program, the whole world opens up for our organization to find entrepreneurs with great business ideas. We're looking forward to the successes of Green Anthem Foods and Physicool Canada, as well as other start-ups the Centre will help support through the Start-up Visa Program.” - Ed Hobbs, President, Toronto Business Development Centre

For more information, contact:

Minister's Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Michael Donahue
Vice President
Toronto Business Development Centre

May 29, 2015